28 Absolutely Fascinating Uses For Dawn Dish Soap

collage of images showing various uses for dawn dish soap

If you’re familiar with any of the homemade cleaning and laundry solutions I’ve shared here on my site, you may have noticed many of them feature Dawn dish soap as an ingredient. Over the years, I’ve used it the classic blue Dawn dish soap to remove yellow sweat stains, make no-grate laundry detergent, and much more — it’s even in my trusty Ultimate Stain Remover Spray!

Related: This One Easy DIY Will Save You A Fortune On Cleaning Products

As a dish soap, Dawn is certainly great for washing dishes, from pots and pans to flatware and crystal, but it’s all the other things you can do with it that make it truly extraordinary! Without further ado, here’s my list of the “best of the best” uses for Dawn dishwashing liquid.

YouTube video

28 Amazing Uses For Dawn Dish Soap

man blowing a bubble

1. Making Bubbles

According to Bubbles.org, Dawn dish soap makes great homemade bubbles, including “giant bubbles!” To make a bubble solution, combine 1/2 cup of Ultra Dawn soap, 1/2 gallon of warm water, and 1 tablespoon of glycerin. (White Karo syrup works in place of glycerin, if you have that on hand!)

Stir gently, then skim the foam off the top of the solution (too much foam will break down the bubbles). Dip your bubble wand and get ready for some good, clean fun!

Related: Treat Yourself to This Magical DIY Aromatherapy Bubble Bath

woman cleaning oil off a duck with blue dawn dish soap

2. Saving Wildlife

Ever wonder why Dawn soap is the wildlife cleaner of choice after an oil spill? According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.

3. Removing Gunk From Hair

Kids get the darnedest things in their hair, like Vaseline, baby oil, gum, Silly Putty, etc. Dawn dish soap is mild enough to use on their hair and strong enough to remove the most stubborn grease.

Related:  This DIY Dish Spray Makes After Dinner Cleanup So Easy

Dawn dish soap sitting on a shower shelf with a razor and body wash

4. Removing Hair Product Buildup

Once a month use Dawn dish soap as you would shampoo. It will remove excess oil from your hair and scalp and strip away any build-up of styling products without any damage. Perform this once a month and you won’t have to buy expensive salon products that do the same thing.

Related: “Dry Clean” Your Oily Hair with This Simple Recipe

5. Cleaning Windows

Try this recipe from Merry Maids: mix 3 drops Dawn dish soap in 1 gallon of water and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spray and wipe as you would with any window cleaner.

Related: 7 Things You Should Never Clean With Dish Soap

6. Deicing Sidewalks

For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks!

fingers dipped into a saucer with blue dawn dish soap

7. Softening Cuticles For Manicures

Soak your fingers in a dish of Dawn dish soap. It makes the cuticles soft and easy to work with. And it removes the natural oil from the fingernails, which allows the polish to adhere better.

8. Cleaning Plastic Kiddie Pools

Plastic wading pools can get very gunky, very fast. Dump the water, then scrub the pool with Dawn dish soap and a sponge. More potent cleaners like bleach will weaken and dry out the plastic in the sun.

9. Making Multi-Purpose Cleaners

Merry Maids recommends using a drop of Dawn soap in 8 ounces water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors. You can also use the spray on:

  • Bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks
  • Woodwork, like baseboards, shelves, and wainscoting (Make sure to dry as you go; wood doesn’t like prolonged contact with water.)
  • Tubs and toilet seats

Related: Check Out My Top 10 Must-Have Homemade Cleaners

spray bottle spraying a fiddle leaf fig tree with watered down blue dawn dish soap

10. Repelling Pests From Plants

This is a safe, effective way to repel insects from your houseplants, including aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. Put a drop of Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake well, and mist your household plants with the soapy water.

11. Relieving Poison Ivy

Poison ivy spreads through the spread of the oil within the blisters. Washing the affected area with Dawn soap helps dry up the fluid AND keep it from spreading. This is especially effective for children who keep scratching the blisters open.

12. Erasing Driveway Stains

If you have gasoline or motor oil stains on your driveway, first sprinkle kitty litter on the spot to absorb excess oil. Then use a scrub broom and a solution of biodegradable Dawn dish soap and warm water to safely and effectively remove excess motor oil from the pavement.

Related: This Weird Trick Is The Best Way To Clean Your Bathtub

man washing a dog with blue dawn dish soap

13. Killing Fleas

Use Dawn dish soap to bathe the dogs. It kills fleas on contact and is much cheaper than expensive dog shampoos.

14. Cleaning Pool Water

Squirt Dawn soap down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion, etc. will move to the edges of the pool for easy clean up! AND it makes the pools sparkle.

15. Preventing Foggy Lenses

Simply rub a small drop of Dawn soap on eyeglass lenses, and wipe clean. It will leave a very thin film that will prevent them from fogging up.

blue dawn dish soap and a wrench

16. Removing Grease From Tools

After you have finished your automotive repair project, soak your dirty tools in Dawn soap before you put them away to remove all the oil and grime. This also helps prevent rust from forming on the tools.

17. Pre-Treating Oily Laundry Stains

To remove oil-based laundry stains like lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil, and some pen inks, simply apply some Dawn dish soap directly to the stain and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed, and then launder as usual.

Related: How to Make My Ultimate Stain Remover Spray

18. Lubricating Moving Parts

Apply Dawn dish soap to sliding glass doors, door knobs, hinges etc. It lasts much longer than any aerosol type spray that I have tried, and it’s non-toxic. It does a great job of cleaning the parts that it’s lubricating as well!

gel ice pack made from blue dawn dish soap and a ziploc bag

19. Making A Gel Ice Pack

Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dish soap, close and freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack.

Read More: How To Make A Pliable Homemade Gel Ice Pack For Pennies

20. Washing Paint & Grease Off Hands

Dawn soap combined with corn oil makes for the perfect grease or paint remover. Simply combine a little bit of both in your hands then rub it over affected areas. The corn oil and the dishwashing liquid both help to dissolve the grease and paint – yet leave skin soft, unlike harsher paint removers.

21. Keeping Aphids Away From Fruit Trees

Mix two tablespoons Dawn soap to a gallon of water and put in your sprayer. Try to get the spray on both sides of the leaves, branches and the tree trunks. Let sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse the trees THOROUGHLY!

blue dawn dish soap, vinegar, and a spray bottle

22. Cleaning Your Tub & Shower

Take a spray bottle and fill it halfway with white vinegar. Heat in the microwave. Fill the rest of the way with Dawn dish soap. Put lid on and shake to mix well. Spray on your tub and shower walls, then allow it to sit for a while before rinsing it off. It will totally melt all the gunk, slime, sludge and other stuff that builds up including a bathtub ring.

Related: 9 Surprising New Uses For One Of The Best DIY Cleaners!

23. Repelling Ants

Spray countertops, cupboards, and any other areas where you’ve seen ants with a solution of Dawn soap and water. Wipe dry. The slight soapy residue that remains will not be a problem at all for kids or pets, but ants hate it. Should you see a trail of ants, go ahead and hit them with the Dawn soap spray. And if that doesn’t work here are some more ways to get rid of ants.

24. Stripping Cloth Diapers

Here is another laundry tip — add a drop or two of original Dawn dish soap to diapers in your washer and run a hot wash, then rinse until there are no more bubbles. (Be careful not to overdo it, or you’ll end up with a terribly sudsy mess on your hands.)

Dawn is excellent at cutting through grease, oily residues, and the link, making it ideal for stripping cloth diapers. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly until the water runs clear!

squirting blue dawn dish soap into a toilet

25. Unclogging Toilets

Clear out a clogged toilet by pouring a cup or so of Dawn dish soap into the toilet bowl, and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Follow with a bucket of hot water poured from waist height, and your toilet should be clog-free!

Read More: These Are The Best Ways To Unclog A Toilet In An Emergency

26. Cleansing Oily Skin

Dawn dish soap makes a surprisingly great facial cleanser for oily skin. A drop or two combined with warm water will do the trick.

27. Cleaning Grimy Shower Floors

Cover grimy footprints and other gunk on shower floors with Dawn soap; let sit overnight. Scrub away the gunk in the morning with a stiff brush.

28. Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Start by wiping the appliance with a damp cloth so you can see the direction of the fine lines or “grain” in the steel. Put a few drops of Dawn on a wet rag, then lather it up and wipe the surface in the same direction as the grain. Wipe again with a clean, damp cloth, then use a dry microfiber cloth to buff it to a shine. No more grease or fingerprints!

blue dawn dish soap sitting on a kitchen counter wrapped with a pink bow

Bonus: Giving It As A Gift!

If you should ever need a host or hostess gift when visiting friends or family, print out this list and bundle it with a bottle of Dawn dish soap and a few microfiber cloths! I can’t think of a more practical gift than that!

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • The only two cleaners I keep in my house, DAWN, and Windex All Purpose. If you have older vinyl floors just spray with Windex All Purpose, let it sit for 5 min or a bit more & mop floor. It is amazing how clean it will be. Love them both. Also love your site. Ontario, Canada.

  • Thank you for this!! Today I have to put ice on my elbow and I’m going to use dawn in a zip lock bag instead of regular ice. This couldn’t have been any timelier for me to read.

  • Had my hair bleached trying to go from black to platinum. Had BLUE hair. Washed my hair twice in the shower letting it soak for just 3 minutes each time and it faded the blue, U can not use this with out giving your hair a good conditioner treatment (soak afterward for about 5 – 10 mins with conditioner in your hair, cause it makes your hair so dry). But as long as you soak your hair in conditioner to give it the nutrients back into it. ALL GOOD!

    • I wouldn’t recommend using Dawn on your face. Believe it or not, I would suggest using oil. Here is my post, that will remove the sunscreen from your face. Fight Oil With Oil
      Then I would follow that with your regular facial cleanser.

  • Add one more DAWN SOAP miracle! Those nasty fly sticks that you only thing of getting rid of bothersome flies! 2 baby wrens got stuck to one I put on my patio, stupid me! But my son-in-law and friend had presence of mind to use DAWN SOAP to loosen them.! One flew away and one is being nursed hopefully back to health!

  • Even the company that makes Dawn wrote to NEVER use it on dogs. They do not have feathers and it was used for emergency oil spill clean up on birds. The list of toxic chemical ingredients is NOT for dogs.Dawn is the wrong pH for the dog’s skin. Dawn contains at least two known components that are linked to cancer. Dawn strips the dog’s mantle (outer skin) of natural oils and more and may leave the dog far more capable of getting skin issues based on diet and environment. Dawn is often not thoroughly washed out of dog’s hair/fur and from skin. This can leave the dog itchy and with irritated skin.

    Dawn is used in worst case issues on birds covered in oil because it is strong, because it is fast, and because it allow those trying to save animals from death to have the oil quickly removed (more animals can be cleaned) and then faster towards all efforts to deal with the animals’ feathers, skin and other animal’s fur and skin (additional treatments). Dawn is NOT a flea shampoo. Just because it can kill fleas, doesn’t make it safe or a good choice.

  • Okay, I so agree with many uses for Dawn; however, if you truly want to clean your home with just water have you tried Norwex products? I use one Enviro cloth and just water to clean my entire bathroom beginning with mirrors (they dry streak-free), then on to the sinks, then to the shower, and finally the toilet. This product is amazing and with just one cloth and water my bathrooms are sparkling, streak-free and disinfected. Give it a try.

    • CS wrote that while Dawn is good to remove oil from feathers, dogs don’t have feathers, and Dawn will strip the natural oils from the dogs skin. Pet shampoos do not make a lot of suds, so you are able to wash your pooch much more quickly and get all of the soap out. Dogs lick themselves and ingesting soap will make them very, very ill.

  • I have used Dawn for many years, I cleaned my glass shower door, use a scubbie sponge Put dawn on wet sponge clean doors let sit while you take a shower then wash clean. EASY

  • I make my own scrubbies for my counter. Baked in pasta sauce? No problem!!! A squirt of dawn, lather your scrubby or sponge with hot water and it will come off with ease!! I use dawn for everything. Dawn is amazing! Thank you for such a helpful and useful article!

  • We have been dealing with an infestation of cockroaches for the past six months. They probably were brought into our home in a BOX, provided by the grocery store and used instead of a cloth or plastic bag to carry our groceries out.

    I’m wondering if we used a Dawn spray solution in the areas where we think they are hiding (near the dishwasher and stove apparently) if it might work. It is worth a shot anyway.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    • Yes, Dawn and water will kill cockroaches. I use a spray bottle of Damn and water to kill stink bugs and in warm weather to kill fleas.

  • Dish soap should never be used in your washing machine. Especially if you have a front loader. It will strip the grease and void your warranty. Not to mention, dish soap will not strip your diapers. It should only be used to removed oily diaper creams from cloth diapers, and rinsed thoroughly before being placed in the machine.

  • I cringed at the suggestion to use this on a poison ivy rash! Poison ivy DOES NOT spread by breaking open the blisters. Poison ivy is a form of contact dermatitis. It is your skin’s reaction to the oils from the plant. One person cannot spread poison ivy to another person nor to another area of his/her body simply by touching the rash. The rash spreads from contact with the plant oils. Period.

  • I am an Humane agent and we use Dawn (Blue Original) on the animals we work with to remove fleas. The fleas just fall away and the animals have never shown a problem. I have used it full strenght on my own dogs and never had a problem…….or a flea. It also keeps the ticks repealed. I also put a drop or two in the washer when I was animals bedding. Bugs hate Dawn

  • I used Dawn to bathe my dog because he picked up fleas in a hotel while we were traveling. Dawn killed the fleas…however, my dog was on antibiotics for a couple of months due to the damage from the Dawn to his skin…..wouldn’t advise…

    • It won’t be the dawn, more likely the flea bites he got have set up a skin reaction that has coincided with using it. Try a lukewarm bath for the dog with about a cup of white vinegar to relieve the itching and gently disinfect the skin.

      • Amanda you are correct one of my two dogs turned out allergic to the flea bites and thats where tge skin infection came in , i took her to the vet and they sold me a small bottle of shampoo (melaseb) it was so good i found it on amazon at a better price for quantity now i alternate between dawn and melaseb and for very dry weeks i even condition her coat with my loreal conditioner

      • I use it I have 4 small dogs and there fine I did it for 6 months I put in old shampoo bottle water,Dawn and vinegar the recipes in Pinterest some dogs maybe got to test it first for them but had I had no problems

      • I don’t really care what people post. I had a flea infestation and had used every high end product, frontline and the pill flea killer (that’s short acting, while the frontline kicks in) with NO LUCK. I ended up using Dawn, the pill and k-9 Advantix and did not have another problem, after battling the flea issues for 5 months.

      • I am an Humane agent and we use Dawn (Blue Original) on the animals we work with to remove fleas. The fleas just fall away and the animals have never shown a problem. I have used it full strenght on my own dogs and never had a problem…….or a flea. It also keeps the ticks repealed. I also put a drop or two in the washer when I was animals bedding. Bugs hate Dawn.

      • I have used it on my three dogs and to remove ticks and fleas from cats . It is wonderful . I put as much as I would if I were washing my hair . Worked great!

      • Dawn is used world wide and they donate money to animals in need . Yes you can use to wash and kill fleas. Make sure you rinse well

  • Be careful if your eyeglasses have expensive anti-glare/anti-scratch coating, such as Crizal. I used to wash my glasses all the time with the dishwater before I washed dishes, but my optometrist informed me that this will strip the coating. Also be careful when cleaning car windows with tinting. Only special window cleaner that’s marked “safe on tinted windows” is safe to use.

  • Myth: Scratching poison ivy blisters will spread the rash. Fact: The fluid in the blisters willl not spread the rash. Before blisters form, the rash can only be spread by unbound urushiol. Avoid scratching of blisters.

  • In addition to unclogging toilets, you can use it to unclog shower and sink drains clogged with hair or whatever else. I had a very slow draining shower and my mother-in-law suggested pouring a cup of dawn down the drain and letting it sit. It worked like a charm!

  • Make fruit fly traps using a couple of drops of Dawn in about a quarter cup of cider vinegar in small ramekins. The cider attracts them and the Dawn kills them. When the grandsons are visiting us in Maine during the summer, we change them every night and do a body count when they get up in the morning. Ghoulish but they think it’s a hoot.

  • My plumber suggested that I could drizzle some Dawn into the overflow pipe in the tank when the tank is filling to make the toilet flush better. He said that it would have to be done more than once, but when the toilet is flushing OK then stop.

  • NEVER put soap on icy stairs. NEVER. all you do is create a future hazard after the water goes away the soap residue remains and next storm you have a disaster and insurance nightmare waiting to happen.

  • living in fla, there is a problem with hard water (stains) can i use dawn on my vehicle, your ad shows bathrooms to washing animals, would it be safe for me ? is there a witches brew you can tell me about ? thanx

    • Use a little white vinegar diluted in water (about 1/2 cup vinegar in 1 gallon of water), and wash the hard water areas with a rag soaked in the solution. :-) And yes – you can use Dawn, too!

    • Personally the vinegar didn’t work for me as our hard water stains build up was just too much. What I did fine that works on ceramic tile was Bar Keepers Friend in the foam/spray bottle formula. I sprayed and then scrubbed with a brush and then wiped down with wet rag. A lot of work – but amazing results.

  • I need to clean my walls! I can’t handle harsh chemical smells so I love using Blue Dawn!
    Any suggestions on how to use Dawn for cleaning my walls?

  • My poison ivy spreads from me scratching the blisters while I’m sleeping! I can also contract it from my husband’s clothing. It’s happened to me numerous times.

  • I remember using clothe diapers for my children way back and when your done with the diaper days they make great rags for cleaning. I have even bought a dozen news ones just for rags.So I truly understand using Dawn as a cleaner for the machine and diapers.

  • Be careful with using any soap on eyeglasses, especially if you have the non-scratch film that costs super extra – soap will begin to take the film off the glasses leaving them looking even worse and it’s not fixable. I ruined a pair of glasses by washing them with soap.

  • I’ve told numerous people about your armpit stain remover recipe! It works soo well! Can’t wait to try a few of the ones on this list I’ve never heard before like cleaning the shower floor! Thanks!

  • Recently washed all my summer clothes to put away and taking them out of the dryer I found a tube of lipstick and it was all over everything. I sprayed it on all the clothes and rewashed with dawn platinum and it all came out!!!!!

  • On #25 – Unclogging Toilets — My husbands family ran a plumbing shop for 50 years. They said “DO NOT pour hot water in a toilet.” The toilets are made of china and there is a good chance that it will crack when hot water is poured into them. It might depend on how hot the water is, but don’t take the chance.

    • Did you know that Dawn will remove oil stains even after the clothes go through the dryer? Even on high heat! Just apply full strength to oil stain, rub in and rewash. Voila! Oil stain gone!

  • Mine did spread from the blisters
    The oils were seeping from my leg on too my pants. Even after washing the pants, the oils were still there and the poison ivy returned to the same area One of the worse cases I have ever had.
    If would have used the Dawn it would have gotten rid of the oils..

  • I’ve used Dawn for 32 years for everything, not knowing if it was safe or not at the time. There is nothing that compares to its usefulness. Dawn, vinegar and baking soda are always in kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years from a to z with just these 3 products.

    One more thing I discovered is that when I first got my dog, if he peed on the rug, I sprayed the area with Dawn, vinegar, and baking soda, he never went on the area again. Decided to lightly spray entire rug and eureka! He has gone to the door to let me know when he needs to go out since then. He’s eight years old now.

    Dawn rocks!

  • One man I knew, used to coat his skin with Dawn, like using a lotion, before he would go outside and do yardwork. Having the Dawn on his skin acted as a barrier to the urushiol oil in poison ivy. He could then shower and wash it all off with no poison ivy, ever.

  • I absolutely enjoyed reading your tips!! This was my first time and I am already a dawn user. I switched to dawn permanently about 2 years ago when I noticed how good my hands felt when I finished washing dishes. I also appreciated the shower tip especially because I have been trying to figure out how to clean the floor mats? It did not make sense that you have to keep purchasing floor mats for the shower every 2 months. This will be my first experiment! Thank you .

  • Love all the ideas. I will only use dawn! Buy it at dollar General in small bottle for $1! It works wonders on fleas for cats too! I’ve rescued several and it’s so much better and safer than pesticide flea dips

    • I have used the dish detergent remedy on tough stains since I was in highschool. Peroxide and dawn for blood. Mentraul periods were unpredictable so an old toothbrush and my peroxide and dish dawn mixture worked better than bleach.

  • Please don’t ever use dish soap on your dog. There is nothing worse for their skin and it will dry their skin, until scratching becomes frequent. Dish soap was not made to wash your dog in. For Dawn dish soap that was a cheap and heartless advertising tactic.

    • I had a black lab & the only thing that got thru her oily coat was Dawn. She came out so shiny after her baths! I had tried everything then went to the breeder & she told me the Dawn tip was the best and she was right. Always make sure to stay away from their eyes & ears, that’s all.

    • Sorry, I disagree with your comment. I have been a dog groomer for 20 years and have used dawn often. It kills fleas instantly, therefore avoiding the use of harsh chemicals. It degreases filthy dirty dogs and gets the crud off of scaly ones. Also works great on skunked dogs. I do finish with a gentle biodegradable pet shampoo. I wouldn’t recommend just only using dawn. But as a pre-wash it is fantastic.

    • My Vet recommended the blue Dawn dish soap for a major fleas infestation on my Cocker Spaniel, Said to lather him up for head to toe, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse real good. It only takes one bath to kill the fleas. You do not want to to frequent or repeat baths with it.

    • I used number 25 in my toilet to unclog it. It worked like a charm!! Had to leave it in for a while and that can be a little unpleasant to look at sometimes, but…

    • Back when I was a kid and before all these fancy dog soaps came out, we used dish soap to wash the dogs all the time. Never had problems!! As a society we have become so product oriented. I think my mom started with a bucket of water and dish soap for everything!! HaHa!!

    • I have washed every pet I’ve ever owned (even cats) with Dawn to get rid of fleas. It works amazingly well!!! It has never caused any damage to their skin.
      Have you never seen commercials where wildlife that was affected by major oil co spills were cleaned with Dawn??? That should show you just how gentle it is for animals, but yet how effective it is at getting through grease.

  • If they change the ingredients to all organic, (which is a good thing) then they wouldn’t have DAWN anymore.
    Make a new product of all organic ingredients for those who want to use all organic and keep DAWN just the way it is for those of us who like it just the way it is.

  • Linda Byrd Says Dawn is Fabulous. This product is the Best killing Wasp treatment you can buy. If you have Wasp problems No matter how High the nest is take a water hose drain it at the end fill it with about a 1/4 cup of Dawn Dish Liquid attach a Straight Shot water nozzle on your hose on off position stand back point BOOM DEAD. DO NOT RINSE OFF NEST wasp will Not return. They do Not like this Sticky, Smell, of Dawn.

  • I use it to bathe my dog. And it definitely does work for fleas. Lets face it, no matter how clean you keep your dog, if she/he goes outside at all these days, it is impossible to keep them off of them. Dawn dishsoap really works. I like most folks cant afford to take my dog to the groomers every week. This is always in my kitchen. So its nice to have something at home that works great for this.

  • On the de-icing of sidewalks tup, it works great on the rough, semu-porous concrete surface; HOWEVER, it’s worth mentioning that neither straight nor diluted form of Dawn dish soap should be applied to clean or de-ice the surface of pvc or composite decking boards and steps. It’s nearly impossible to rinse off and the residue it leaves behind is dangerously slippery. This tip I received from deck installer.

  • Hi Jillee~
    The heated vinegar and dawn soap really CLEANS in the tub/shower/tiles!
    I have to admit that I didn’t think that it would clean.

    It did….
    and ALL I did was follow your instructions on making the vinegar/dawn solution.
    I mixed it well and sprayed everything and I waited five minutes…and then I waited another five minutes..
    (sorry to doubt you).
    It was absolutely AMAZING how it cleaned.
    All the yucky bath tub ring…shower walls and doors are now very clean and actually sparkling! :)
    It wiped away without any effort on my part.
    Thank you for posting this and I recommend it to everyone to try it and be ready to be amazed!

  • I’m not surprised at #22–I have a tub that I couldn’t ever get really clean until I cleaned my mini-blinds–a capful of Dawn and a half gallon of white vinegar. I hosed them off outside, hanging from the clothes line and they were like new. But I was REALLY amazed when I got back in the house to clean out the tub. The blind-cleaning solution had loosened the grunge in the tub–a little more soap and some elbow grease and the tub has never looked so good!

  • Please, DO NOT give this or other cleaning product as a hostess gift to a foreign person, for some cultures, it could be regarded as very, very rude……

  • I’m sorry, but spraying dish soap on a icy sidewalk does not seem like a good idea to me. I will attest to using on dogs as a flea bath, though. They scatter like…well….like little bugs

    I’ve also heard that it’s good for treating lice but I haven’t tried that

  • Wow! Where’s my favorite use? I make laundry soap every week with 1/3 cup borax, 1/3 cup washing soda and 1/3 cup or 3 good squeezes of Dawn dish soap in one gallon of hot water. It’s cost is about 50 cents a gallon.

  • The Dawn bath for dogs with fleas, would this be effective on cats as well?
    My cats hate the alcohol smell of the chemical treatments plus I really dislike putting the chemicals on them.
    Dawn is used on all types of wildlife for oil/gas spills, so shouldn’t Dawn be safe for cats especially for termination of unwanted intruders(!) ?

    Thanks to Jillee’s great tips, we’re a complete natural cleaning home and some other added bonus tips!

    • Yes, you can use it on cats. The most important thing to remember, though, is that you must rinse very well, as the cat will lick itself and if their is a soap residue, may throw up. I have found that taking a twenty ounce cup and putting about three ounces of vinegar in it, and filling it up with warm water makes a good rinse to insure all soap is gone.

  • Great tips, however poison ivy is not spread by the fluid in the blisters. This is a common misperception. The rash itself is not contagious, and the fluid in the blisters does not spread the rash. Poison ivy dermatitis appears as soon as four hours or as long as 10 days after the exposure, depending on individual sensitivity and the amount of exposure. As the rash appears, any sensitivity a person had begins to increase. One starts to react to the slightest traces of a few molecules on the skin. This causes the rash to appear to be spreading, even after treatment has begun. The oils from the poison ivy plant would be removed from the skin by the dishsoap so it would still be helpful in that regard if used soon after exposure.

  • I have used it on my hair (the blue formula only) and it is great for getting rid of all that build up of styling products. I follow with a conditioner, too.

  • I love your ideas but they are not print friendly, I had tried a few times to print them and you get all the
    comments with the information and it takes up a lot of paper.

  • I’ve tried several of these in the past, and they work! I especially love the toilet unclogging trick. It works for tubs and sinks as well.

    I have to laugh about the bubbles recipe. My father, a retired science teacher, just sent me this very recipe last week and I had forwarded it on to my boss (yes, we have occasion to play with bubbles at work!) Glad to see verification that this is a good recipe, and very glad to see that Karo syrup can be substituted for glycerin as my store was out of glycerin.

    Keep the cool tips coming. This list is definitely a keeper.

  • Hi! Thank you for all these great suggestions. Although I haven’t tried it yet, my daughter daughter swears by the bathtub cleaner. She had the best results for her fiberglass tub / shower enclosure. Also, thank you Victoria for your suggestions! Blessings to all. Christina

  • There is NOTHING worse than fleas on your pet. However, Dawn didn’t help much with our runaway flea infestation on 9 cats and everywhere. We used flea drops. Dawn is a known flea bath, but it won’t eradicate an infestation in the house. If there is a next time, I would use Dawn in a spray and spray the carpet, corners, everything.

  • Be careful with the bubble mixture. If you spill any in the grass you will have a dead spot for YEARS.

    Also, if you have an infected cuticle soaking it in dishwater will actually draw the infection and pus out.

  • Clean make-up sponges. Combined with olive oil (1 part each), Dawn is a very effective cleaner for make-up sponges. Get the sponge very wet and dip it in the solution. Then work it in by rubbing vigorously between your two palms. Finally, rinse it under the tap til the water runs clear. Works with make-up brushes, too. There are several YouTube videos that describe the process.

  • Bee KILLER
    Buy a $3.00 spray bottle from a big box store. They spray about 10 feet. Fill with the dish soap. The bees fall right to the ground every time. Also use a super shooter kids toy for hive up high. This is much safer for the environment than the canned spray killer.

  • Great ideas. I love the laundry uses idea. It’s great for tough stains like blood. Use the dawn with a little baking soda, peroxide and an old toothbrush. We’ve done the bubble recipe before. It’s great.

  • Myth: Scratching poison ivy blisters will spread the rash.
    Fact: The fluid in the blisters willl not spread the rash. Before blisters form, the rash can only be spread by unbound urushiol. Avoid scratching of blisters. Fingernails may carry bacteria that could cause an infection.

    • No. Dawn dish washing detergent is really powerful in dissolving oil. It’s a lot more powerful than Palmolive. It appears that Proctor and Gamble markets it as Fairy dish washing detergent in the UK. Is that sold in New Zealand?

      Another use for Dawn is to clear out a slow running drain. First run hot water. When its drained away, squirt a bit of soap in the drain and then run more hot water. Clears the drain immediately.

  • I think that by now everyone knows I think the world of your blog, Jillee. But…Using Dawn on my hair to eliminate product build up? That sounds a little dangerous that it might fry my hair out and strip too much of the natural oils. Combine that with the fact that rinsing off the suds from my scalp in the shower might afford some of this soap product unwanted entry into one of the tender mucous membranes below my waistline, and I will just as soon skip item #4 on your otherwise ingenious and clever list!

    • I have actually done this before. Back in college when I was single I used a lot hair “stuff” (spray, mousse, synthetic and natural silica products, etc) and so I had to always wash my hair really good to prevent build up. I also have very sensitive and stubborn hair (I’m Asian and European by descent, very straight and very thin-strand hair, so my hair gets damaged easily). One time I just had to wash my hair at the University library bathroom. I had no choice but to use Dawn from the custodian’s closet. My hair was so clean after and got the same effect as the expensive shampoo I used 1-2 times a month to get rid of build up. A little goes a long way. And make sure to put a bit of coconut oil on your hand and rub it and massage it on your scalp and damp hair. It really is great.

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